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Trex World, part 25

kelson.philo's picture

Link to part 1

Paul blinked again. Geoff cocked his head to one side. A moment peeled itself like onion skin and passed.

“I think you’re going to have to work through lunch today, Paul.”

Zip. Zap. Zorbit. Neurons were in spasm directly behind Paul’s right eye. He started walking towards Floor 23’s portal. “I’m sorry Geoff,” he started to say as fast as he could, “But I really need to get to my desk. I’ve been late a lot recently, you know…”

“You can stop right there, Paul,” Geoff called. That was the trouble with his supervisor. There were capital problems with the man’s paradigm, though, not the least of which was Paul not giving to shakes of an authority raided shight fest what Geoff thought about anything. Not to mention the rather bizarre events of the morning all combined in a synergistic, “Who gives a fark, arsehole? I’m all ready late. Get over it.”

Of course, what comes out after turning around is, “No really, Geoff, I’m sorry and everything but I can not work through lunch, that just isn’t an option today.” And Paul started towards 23’s portico once again.

“It’s not that easy, Paul, you understand,” gibbered Geoff behind him shuffling two steps for every one of Paul’s in an effort to keep up. “You’ve got quotas after all, assigned by Floor’s 36 through 57.” Through and intense and frenzied huffing and puffing, Geoff managed once more to block Paul’s entry.

“Yes and you’re just keeping me later, Geoff” Is that what you want on a review board full disclosure? I could call one up, of course, and yeah, I know I know it would lose me my job, but it sure would make you look bad. I don’t want that Geoff. I know you don’t either.

Is that a threat? Do you honestly think you can threaten me? You’ve got two seconds to get to your station man, before I write you up, and we both know you can’t afford another one of those.

Zorbit. Zorbit. Zeep-lah! went the manic neuron dance, you little fugplucker, boiled up the words in Paul’s head, trying desperately to put his vitriol into moving speedily towards 23’s entrance.

“I’ll be waiting,” called Geoff. “And you know that I’ll be watching, Paul. You know that,” Geoff’s voice became muffled as Paul crossed the threshold.

To say floor twenty-three was flat would be like saying water was excessively useful for drying things out. It, like most of the floors in Panopticon Production HQ was designed to take one off guard. To inspire one to keep their mouth shut and ears open. PanPro didn’t earn it’s sideline moniker as the All Seeing Eye simply because it’s scripts were everywhere you wanted to be, oh no; the nickname originated from the numerous employees that worked there. Your desk, where you plugged your trex in and sat in semi-comfy and borderline intelligent chairs that prodded you if you got a little too comfortable and helped suppress bowel and bladder response with clever high frequency galvanics faced a screen set in front of a backlit wall that held proportions of a one by five by nine monolith in front of you with cursory controls underneath.

Your supervisor sat directly behind you some thirty feet off, the focus of a parabolic arc containing thirty workers each, their every move made being examined, facial features being recorded along with keystrokes, both the terminal outputs and what you were doing with your hands constantly being watched, recorded, analyzed, tagged and uploaded into your super’s biztrex, who wrote up performance reports on the fly with gently throbbing algorithms and pie-charted tones of madness. The floor was a layer cake of many such foci, radiating around the great perimeter of the Core of PanPro. It was oddly quiet save for the bustle and hustle of fast moving fingers and murmurs of supervisory lips in dronish ears. Your desk chair had built-in audio epidermal coils, making his or her voice seem immediately behind you, always, so you could never tell exactly where your super was watching you. He might be back at his desk, he might be right behind you, the floor was acoustically dead and the lack of bouncing sound waves usually got on the noobs’ nerves post haste.

Just to keep one on one’s toes random bits of image projections would flash up inspirational one-liners on walkways to cube spots and the cat walks to the supervisory stations that helixed their way up though the core’s center. “Morals Reformed…Health Preserved…Industry Invigorated…Instruction Diffused…Public Burdens Lightened,” mixed with a healthy dose of the ubiquitous “Teamwork…Achievement...Innovation…Attitude” which permeated every fibrous pour of the Expanse’s Business District.

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"...semi-comfy and

"...semi-comfy and borderline intelligent chairs that prodded you if you got a little too comfortable and helped suppress bowel and bladder response with clever high frequency galvanics...."

I'd say I wanted one of these for work.... but that would be wrong. =)

Now that you've actually described Paul's workstation, the fact that he's driven to get back to it is even more disturbing!

kelson.philo's picture

Hahahah...him and millions

Hahahah...him and millions of others, apparently. I'm a fairly utillitarian kind of fellow, so I have to weigh what kind of plus's Paul getting from this work environment versus the minus'. Obviously paying off his mortgages and getting his food account back on track, but then never having quite enough cred to really go and do anything fun. I think it's a situation (not necessarily 3 housepayments, but maybe a combination of other things) a lot of people find themselves in, at least from time to time. I know I do.

I think the main difference between 'real life' and trex world, though, is the sense of enclosure, a sense of inevitability about things combined with the pressing needs of an economic system that desperately needs you to be working because too much early retirement is going to start to draw attention to itself...

Ah, yes, those 'pressing

Ah, yes, those 'pressing needs.' So, of course, even the people in charge of the economic system are every bit as trapped as Paul. (Or maybe suggesting anyone might actually be 'in charge' is too optimistic of me.)

kelson.philo's picture

Hahaha...yesh, I'm afearing

Hahaha...yesh, I'm afearing yer being a little too optimistic. You've got a manager who has to manage people, that takes time. Who manages the managers? (ten points to the joe or jasmine that can come up with the latin for that...) That takes time, too. Even the big wigs are going to have various and sundry 'pressing needs'. Entertaining other big shots takes time and energy. They're going to feel comfortable doing it, though, so why change the status quo? Why even think about changing it at all?